Academy of Fencing Masters 

April 2018



Spring has sprung! This time of year seems to go by faster than any other, what with the crush of activities and the weight of end-of-year testing on the minds of all of our students. Even though fencing season has slowed down right now, the ramp up of academic pressures is something that we see in many of our students.

It can be tempting to back off of training this time of year in order to allow more time to be devoted to those academic pursuits, but we have to remember that balance is the key to everything! School projects and testing can make it feel like we’re too busy to train, but the reality is that great athletes learn to balance and excel in both. The hard work put into the strip, rather than taking up time needlessly, actually helps students to invigorate their studies. Fencing training is going to give that mental break and physical workout that kids need in order to get through the strictly brain power driven reality of life after spring break.

Learning how to balance and put the best effort into the cross section of life is what we want for our kids not just when they’re kids, but as they get older too. When it’s time to cut things out, and let’s be clear that no one can do everything, cut out social media or screen time. Look at ways to scale down on things that are adding stress, obligations that aren’t motivating or enriching. The physical engagement of fencing training, an activity that connects the body with the mind, helps kids and teens to maintain that balance. A couple of hours a week at the fencing club working on the strip helps to draw that built up stress out of the body. It also encourages the mind to think in new and different ways. That kind of abstract, out of the box thinking is exactly what compliments the academic rigors of the last term in the school year! Think of fencing time not as a drain, but look at it as a respite for the mind in the final push to those big school tests.

Remember that we’re all in this together! If your child is feeling overwhelmed with their commitments during this busy spring time, reach out to their fencing coach to talk about it. We are here to support the growth and blossoming of our fencers, and we are all invested in their success!

                                           Sincerely yours, 


March Competition Results

We had great competition results in March! The month was opened with impressive Silver medal of Sonia at the Pan American Cadet ad Junior Championship, continued with great NAC, RJCC, Bay Cup events and finally with  29 medals at the last RYC. Great month of fun, hard wok and great achievements.

Pan American Cadet and Junior Championship

Huge hugs and congratulations to Sonia Bulavko for winning first Team USA medal at Pan American Cadet and Junior Championship in Costa Rica!
Sonia won Silver in Cadet Women's Epee, Congratulations to Sonia and coach Alexander!

Silicon Valley RYC

Congratulations AFM fencers, families and amazing coaches for working hard and performing great at the Silicon Valley RYC last weekend!! AFM got 29 medals! We are honored to work with such special and talented people as all AFM coaches! Thank you for your hard work and talents! We are blessed with dedicated families and extraordinary kids! Way to go! Thank you all. 
Here are again our medalists: 
Y10MF : Lucas Wu 2, Daniel Chirashnya 3
Y10WF: Cici Sun 1st, Keira Castaneda and Gabrielle Gebala 3rd, Mika Chirashnya 5th, Zoie Wang 6th !!
Y10ME : Ethan Leelanivas and Luke Castelly 3rd, Elijah Martin 8
Y10WE: Gabrielle Gebala - 1, Lucy Nitanni - 6, Sanvi Sharma - 7, Mathilde Sallembien - 8 
Y12ME: Kirk Liu 8 
Y12WE: Leehi Machulsky 2nd, Noya Chirashnya 3rd, Grace Yin 7, Alina Popovici 8
Y12WF: Erika Castaneda 2nd, Neta Korol 3rd, Cici Sun 8
Y14ME ; Mark Shamis 2, Paul Kim 3, Thijmen De Jong 8 
Y14WE: Leehi Machulsky 2nd, Natalie Gebala 3rd, Sriya Uppalapati 6, Julia Gallon 8 
Congratulations! Way to go!

Bay Cup 

AFM final! Congratulations to Ria Jobalia for winning Division 2 Women's Epee Bay Cup, Audrey Taylor for taking Silver, and Jennifer Liu and Rachel Zhang for top 8 finish in the same event! Girls - great result!

Congratulations to Grace Yin and Julia Khinno for winning Bronze in the Bay Cup Y14 Women's Epee! Great job girls!

Southern California RYC/RJCC 

Congratulations to Rania Ahmed for medalling in Southern California RJCC in Cadet Women's Epee! Rania upgraded her E2018 and qualified for July Challenge! Great job Rania!

Congratulations to Natalie Gebala for winning Y12WE event! Gold Medal! Natalie, way to go! Great job!

Congratulations to AFM epee girls for a great results in Southern California RYC! Andrea Leang - Bronze and earned rating C, Priscilla Leang - medalled with 5th place, Natalie Gebala - medalled with 7th place and upgraded her rating D, and Rania Ahmed - upgraded her rating E! Great job all!

Congratulations to Bartosz Kuligowski for medalling in South California RYC in Y14 Men's Epee!

North America Cup

Congratulations to Gabrielle Gebala and her family, to coach Natasha and coach Bogdan for winning 5th place medal at the NAC in Y10 Women's Foil! Bravo! Way to go!! GGGG!!! (which stands for Good Game, Gabrielle Grace Gebala!) We are very proud of you! Also our big hugs and congratulations are going to Ruoxi Sun for her impressive 10th place and Keira Castaneda for top 16 great result! Go AFM FOL!

Congratulations to Mark Shamis for impressive performance at the NAC in Baltimore today in Div3 Men's Epee event! Mark won a BRONZE medal and earned "C" rating today! What a great result! We are very happy and proud! Way to go!

Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky for medalling with 5th place in Y12 Women's Epee in March NAC! Great job Leehi!

Congratulations to the sisters Leang, Priscilla and Andrea , for medaling at Division 3 Women's Epee in March NAC! Great job girls!

Congratulations to Yasha Shur for medalling in LAIFC RJCC in Junior Men's Epee and earning his C rating!


New Baby!

Congratulations to Slava and his wife Victoria for welcoming to this world  their second son! We are so happy for Slava and Victoria for their great news! Warmest congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby boy! Big hugs to a brand new big brother Michael:) Wishing you, Michael and little Logan many years of good health, love, and happiness. Congratulations! 

Upcoming competitions

We’re down to some of the last competitions of the season as we are in the final stretch leading towards Summer Nationals. In these last three months there will still be qualifying events! The most important of these are the RYC in March, the RJCC in mid-April in TFC, and two SYC’s. Keep your eye on the prize and push through if you’re close to qualifying! In addition, there are local competitions to keep your eye on if you’re not working towards Summer Nationals qualifying.


  • April 7-8, 2018 SYC in Escondido (which is 30 min from San Diego) - . This is THE ONLY SYC in California and it is definitely a tournament to go! This tournament will allow you to meet some of the best regional fencers and it is one of the last remaining qualifying events. We also will have coaches there to support our fencers. Definitely worth to go! 

  • April 8, 2018  - Bay Cup at AFM Sunnyvale for epee fencers. This Bay Cup features many epee events for our fencers. A good local tournament to participate. Features Y14 Men's Epee (great for Y14 boys), JME (for our fencers older than 13), WE, XE - Mixed Epee, for any senior fencer of any rating, Unrated Men's Epee, which is great for Advanced epee boys that were born on or before 2004 and A rated Mixed Epee.

  • April 14-15, 2018 - RJCC in TFC, San Jose. This is the MUST event for Cadet and Junior fencers. Being a last local qualifying event for Summer Nationals in Cadet and Juniors as well as one of the first qualifying events for next year Junior Olympics, this tournament is not to be missed!

  • April 20-23, 2018 in Richmond, VA - April Division 1 Championship and Division 2/3 NAC. Our fencers are going to participate in this tournament - wish them good luck!

  • April 20-21, 2018 - RYC in Utah- This is the last  RYC this season in our region and is the great opportunity to try to make it to the nationals in youth categories. We recommend to check with us whether this trip worth making to qualify in case you consider going there.
  •  April 20-22, 2018 - Epee RJCC in Utah- This is the last  RJCC this season, so if you miss few so needed points to qualify for either cadet or junior July Challenge at Summer Nationals, then you might consider making this trip.
  • April 22, 2018 - Bay Cup in AFM Sunnyvale for Youth Women's Foil fencers in every category - Y10/Y12/Y14.

  • April 27-30, 2018 - SYC in Bellevue, WA. This is THE absolutely last SYC in the season. 

  • April 27-30, 2018 - A famous ROC in the Rockies, featuring Division 1A, 2 and Veterans. Traditionally our senior fencers love to go there and so far they had great results there, succeeding to qualify to respective nationals.


  • May 5-6 - Central California Division Qualifier for Division 2/3 and Y14 at AFM Sunnyvale. If you haven't qualified yet for either of these events for Summer Nationals, sign up! Regular fee registration deadline is April 20.
  • May 20 - Bay Cup in Santa Rosa - Division 2 Men's Epee and Junior Women's Epee. This is a great event for many our senior epee fencers from Advanced and Competitive classes. Definitely worth to participate!
  • May 20 - Bay Cup in AFM Sunnyvale for Youth foil, which looks almost like foil RYC, featuring Y10/12/14 Men's Foil and Y10/12 Women's Foil. This is a great competition to participate especially given that competitive season is winding down and it is a good practice to compete before the nationals. Join
  • May 27 - Another foil Bay Cup at AFM Sunnyvale, featuring Y10 Men's Foil, Y14 Men's Foil, Junior Men's Foil and Mixed Foil for Seniors. It's back to back tournament indeed, but again - good pre-nationals competitive practice.

Sign Up for Camps

We encourage you to go ahead and sign up for relevant to you fencing camps. The camp experience is one that we see buoy our fencers to great improvement in their performance, aside from it being a time of camaraderie and enjoyment for them.

There are several options for fencing camp, and you can sign up for them on AskFred. Keep in mind our sibling discount if you’ve got more than one fencer!

Those of you who are going to Summer Nationals, be sure to check out our Summer Nationals Preparation camp! This is an important part of getting ready for the big competition, and it’s a huge boost for fencers who want to get ready to go.

Foil Camps @AFM Campbell:

  • Camp #1:  June 18-22, 2018 (9am-12pm)

  • Camp #2:  June 25-29, 2017 (9am-12pm)


Epee Camps @AFM Sunnyvale:

  • Camp #1: June 11-15, 2018 (9am-4pm)

  • Camp #2: June 18-22, 2018 (9am-4pm)

  • Camp #3: June 25-29, 2018 (9am-4pm)

Whether you’re an epee fencer or a foil fencer if you’re headed to Summer Nationals, please check out our summer camps!

Please note that we’ve also go lots of camp opportunities for new fencers! If you know someone who has an interest in fencing, please let them know about our AFM beginner fencer summer camps. Many of you came through these beginner camps and know how wonderful they can be for fencers!

Divisional Qualifier at AFM Sunnyvale


Coming up at the beginning of May is the Divisional Qualifier for Summer Nationals - right here at AFM!

  • Division 2

  • Division 3

  • Y14

If you haven’t qualified for Summer Nationals yet, then please sign up for this competition as it represents one of the very last opportunities for fencers to make it to the event. It’s right here at AFM Sunnyvale, which makes it incredibly convenient and comfortable for our fencers. What better way to get make it to the big event this summer than this?

We’re also looking for VOLUNTEERS to help out with this big event, so come on and be a part of that action if you aren’t competing. It’s going to be a wonderful event with some fantastic fencing!

Sign Up for Summer Nationals 


Photo: Leehi before her final bout last Summer Nationals in Salt Lake City, UT

DO NOT wait until the deadline! Go ahead and sign up already if you know your events. This is something that will help you tremendously in our planning and in your planning too. Earlier planning makes everything easier.

If you’re unsure as to what’s going on with qualification for you, then check out our article on Regional Qualification or just talk to us. Also, in the case that you might have qualified for multiple events, which most of our fencers did, know that detailed planning is even more important! Some fencers can participate in up to six fencing events! That’s a lot to juggle both in terms of preparation and in terms of the logistics for the day itself. 

Planning well will take the pressure off, allowing fencers to enjoy the thrill and excitement of Summer Nationals with as little stress about the details as possible.

USA High Schoolers Recognition program


Every year, the USFA recognizes high schoolers who are outstanding in the areas of fencing and academics. Not only do they offer the High School All American Team to recognize these bright students, but there are also scholarships for fencers.

  • Athlete Scholarships. The application deadline for two of the scholarships is APRIL 30! You’ll find several wonderful scholarship opportunities on the USFA scholarship page, and we want to highlight them for you. If you have a fencer who is preparing for college this year, please check these out and apply if you qualify!

  • USFA High School All American Team. The deadline for the USFA High School All American Team is APRIL 30! If you have a fencer who is in high school, we encourage you to apply for this wonderful honor. It’s truly a wonderful opportunity, and a recognition that our fencers can very much look forward to.


Keep in mind those deadlines and don’t miss out if you have a high school student who can qualify! The application process is easy and well worth it.

New dates for parent orientation meetings

Our new parent orientation will move by two weeks from 4/4 and 4/7 to 4/18 and 4/21.

The New Parent Orientation is an important part of new fencing parents getting themselves adjusted to the world of fencing, which we all know can feel a bit overwhelming when we first get started. All of those questions that you’ve got - we can answer them!

Please note this change if you are a new parent who needs to learn more. If you know a new fencing parent, please be sure to mention the New Parent Orientation!

AFM Hosting Div2 ROC in November!

AFM is happy to announce that we have won the Div2 ROC!! This event will take place in the last weekend of November, and it’s one that we are extremely excited about and proud to be a part of.

It’s wonderful for our fencers to be able to compete in such an important regional competition right here in their home club. Not only that, but it’s a wonderful event for the community as well!

Thank you to all of our staff and families for your support in the growth of AFM towards this milestone. Hosting an ROC is a goal that we’ve all worked for together, and with you it’s been possible to get there and achieve it! Thank you! We will of course provide more details about the specifics of this event later down the line, but it’s exciting to be a part of it!


Photo: Funny Bunnies from Intermediate Epee Class (Sunnyvale) with coach Slava and coach assistant Paul Kim
Copyright © April 2018, Academy of Fencing  Masters ,
All rights reserved.

AFM Newsletter #55
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